Cancer and the risk factors

  • Cancer is uncontrolled proliferation of  cells.
  • In India 7 Lakh new cancer cases reported every year and 5.5 Lakh people die of cancer every year. Most common cancers in our country are lung, Breast, cervical, Stomach and oral cancers.
  • 4 in 10 cancer cases could be prevented by lifestyle changes.
  • According to the World Health Organization, about 30% of all cancer cases are preventable.
  • Tobacco use is the most important cause for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths.

What are the risk factors for cancer?

  • Increased Age
  • Tobacco use
  • Diet (junk foods, Salted, canned foods, smoked foods)
  • Physical inactivity
  • obesity
  • Alcohol use
  • Sun exposure
  • Environmental exposures :radon, lead, asbestos
  • Exposure to infections like hepatitis, HPV, and HIV

What are some general signs and symptoms of cancer?

  • Unexplained weight loss : no known reason & more than 10% body weight

  • Fever

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Pain : headache ,back pain, bone pain.
  • Skin changes :Darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation), reddened skin (erythema)
  • Change in bowel habits or bladder function: Long-term constipation, diarrhea. Pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change in bladder function.

  • Sores that do not heal: a long-lasting sore in the mouth : oral cancer. Sores on the penis or vagina may either be signs of infection or an early cancer.
  • White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue

  • Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body

  • Recent change in a wart or mole or any new skin change
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge : in early or advanced cancer.
    Blood in the stool (which can look like very dark or black stool):colon or rectal cancer
    Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium : abnormal vaginal bleeding.
    Blood in the urine :bladder or kidney cancer.
    A bloody discharge from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer
  • Nagging cough or hoarseness
    A cough that does not go away : lung cancer, stomach cancer
    Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer of the larynx(voice box) or thyroid gland.

Screening for symptoms and early diagnosis are key to cure and to save lives.


Beat Cancer : Healthy Living Habits

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